Optimal - The Blog

May 4, 2023

Optimal - The Podcast: Episode 17

Optimal - The Podcast: Episode 17 - Nutritional Psychiatry, an interview with Dr. Uma Naidoo

Dr. Dicken Weatherby & Beth Ellen DiLuglio, MS, RDN, LDN

Welcome to Episode 17 of Optimal - the Podcast! In this episode, Dr. Weatherby and Beth Ellen DiLuglio are joined by Dr. Uma Naidoo to discuss her ground-breaking work in Nutritional Psychiatry.

Dr. Uma Naidoo, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and nutrition expert, has been at the forefront of this field and has written a book called "This Is Your Brain on Food," which explores the relationship between food and mental health.

Listen in as Dr. Naidoo introduces the practice of nutritional psychiatry, which involves educating patients about the importance of a balanced diet and how certain food can affect mood, cognition, and behavior. One nutrient that Dr. Naidoo highlights as particularly important for mental health is folate because an adequate folate intake has been associated with a lower risk of depression and other mental health conditions. They also discuss the issue of adulteration of our food, with many products containing additives and preservatives that can negatively affect our health. For patients in lower socioeconomic groups, Dr. Naidoo recommends making healthy food more accessible and affordable, such as shopping at farmers' markets or using food co-ops.

Dr. Naidoo also discusses the importance of "brain food" for children, including omega-3 fatty acids, choline, and zinc. She also shares a method of food preparation that some parents use to make vegetables more palatable for picky eaters, which is beneficial because it can increase vegetable consumption and improve their children's nutrition. It is also essential to encourage children to eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods that can support their overall health and well-being, including their mental health.

The take-home message? Consider incorporating more whole, nutrient-dense foods into your diet to improve your mental health and well-being. Listen to this episode and learn more!

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Episode Highlights:

(01:19) The idea of nutritional psychiatry
(02:08) Practicing nutritional psychiatry
(07:24) About balance
(08:11) Folate and mental health
(09:59) Adulteration of our food
(10:39) What do you do for patients that are in lower socioeconomic groups
(16:36) The three phenomenal brain food for children
(19:46) About beneficial food preparation for children
(22:42) How do we potentially use blood biomarkers
(23:12) Particular blood biomarkers that Dr. Naidoo focuses on through this lens of nutritional psychiatry
(25:42) Naidoo’s training program
(30:12) Where to find Dr. Naidoo

Where to Reach Dr. Dicken Weatherby

Dicken Weatherby LinkedIn
Optimal DX Website
Optimal DX Resource Center
Optimal DX Blog

Where to Reach Beth Ellen DiLuglio

Nutrition Mission
Beth Ellen DiLuglio LinkedIn 

Where to Reach Dr. Uma Naidoo

Dr. Uma Naidoo Website
Dr. Uma Naidoo LinkedIn
Dr. Uma Naidoo Instagram
Dr. Uma Naidoo Facebook
Dr. Uma Naidoo Twitter

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Tag(s): Podcast

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